The Fair

traditional worship              progressive theology              welcoming community

Against the backdrop of a beautiful view of Mount Monadnock, the First Church in Jaffrey holds its annual Fair on the first Wednesday in August from 1 to 4 pm with food available beginning 12:30, in this iconic New England village that is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The First Wednesday in August

From 1 to 4 pm with food available beginning 12:30


For more than 100 years, the First Church in Jaffrey has welcomed the Monadnock community to its annual Summer Fair. Naturally the festivities have changed over time, but the purpose remains the same – to offer wonderful food, activities for children, and a unique opportunity for families and visitors to walk and talk while browsing for treasures at bargain prices. Funds raised help support local social service organizations and scholarships for Conant HS graduates.

The 106th Fair falls on Wednesday, August 2, from 1 to 4. Picnic lunches with homemade sandwiches, fruit, cookies, chips, and a drink will be available at 12:30. A snack bar located on the corner of the Meetinghouse offers hot dogs, sodas, water, popcorn, and free watermelon beginning at 12:30. Admission is free, parking is ample, and places to sit, eat, and chat are scattered around the Common and First Church buildings.

The Fair features something for everyone! The venues include antiques and collectibles in the Meetinghouse, along with “white elephants.” The jewelry tables will be there, loaded with vintage pieces, craft silver earrings and necklaces, and collectable watches. The popular garden center beneath the trees on the Common features plants, tools, and unique decorative items. The furniture tent returns this year.

Thanks to generous donations from friends and neighbors, the fine art displayed in the church sanctuary showcases watercolor and oil paintings, high quality prints, and photographs. Vintage and decorative linens, as well as tools and small electronics are located at both ends of the Meetinghouse. The bakery with a tempting array of cakes, pies, cookies, and breads can be found in the church parish house.

At the Children’s Fair held in the Horsesheds, kids can play games to win prizes, decorate cupcakes, and find treasures to buy. And anyone can buy a ticket for a ride in a Model T. Tickets are still 25 cents, a price not changed for decades.

This event depends on roughly 100 volunteers to set up, sort, sell, park cars, and clean up. While the church’s congregation plans and organizes the Fair, two-thirds of the workers come from the wider community. Many local businesses and service groups contribute time, equipment, and money.


For information, go to or call 603-532-7979.

Donations Needed

Look around your home (including attic, basement, and garage) for “treasures” that are in good condition, attractive, clean, and in working order that we can sell in one of our many venues.

There will be three dates to drop off items at the Blackberry Lane entrance to the Parish House:

Tuesday, July 11 • 10-12 am
Thursday, July 20 • 1-3 pm
Friday, July 28 • 3-5 pm

The Annual Fair event depends on roughly 100 volunteers and the support of local businesses to set up, sort, sell, park cars, and clean up. While the church’s congregation plans and organizes the Fair, two-thirds of the workers come from the wider community. Funds raised help support more than one dozen local social service organizations and scholarships for Conant HS graduates.

For other Fair information, contact Bruce Hill at or 508-280-9546.

So goes the old saying “Many hands make light work”! Many hands labor for the First Church Fairs, which also benefit our wider community. We are grateful to the many neighbors, community friends and roped-in ‘helpers’ who make the 106th FAIR at the First Church in Jaffrey possible! The FAIR takes place THIS WEDNESDAY, AUG 2ND from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Hot dogs on the grill or pick-up boxed lunches are available starting 12:30. COME, this is quite an experience…families center their reunions around it. Friends meet here from near and far. Prices are low and the quality is screened.


Seeking treasures from old houses and seeking bargains inside the 1775 Meetinghouse is an exciting regional tradition for hundreds of shoppers. The Children’s Fair, by the 1810 Horsesheds, has hundreds of children playing games, winning prizes, and getting rides in a Model T Ford. The Fair draws roughly 100 volunteers, 2/3 from the wider community, who set up, sort, and sell something for everyone: plants and art to antiques, china, jewelry, household goods, small appliances, tools and baked goods.


More than half the net proceeds support more than a dozen local and regional social service organizations and college scholarships for Conant High School graduates. Groups receiving donations from the 2019 Fair proceeds were: Home Health Care Hospice & Community Services; Jaffrey Emergency Fund; Jaffrey Food Pantry; Meals on Wheels; Monadnock Adult Day Care Center; Monadnock Area Psychotherapy & Spiritual Services (MAPS); Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter; Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention; Monadnock Community Early Learning Center; Monadnock Family Services; Shelter from the Storm; Reality Check; Got Lunch; and Jaffrey Rindge Memorial Ambulance Service.

Rev. Steve Miller

The Rev. Steve G. Miller started his ministry at The First Church in Jaffrey in January 2022, after a unanimous vote of approval by the congregation in October 2021 when he visited and conducted worship. Prior to moving to New Hampshire, Miller was the senior pastor at the United Church of Christ-Congregational in Vermillion SD for 26 years.
Steve Miller graduated from Springfield College in 1981. He began studying at Yale Divinity School and transferred to the Pacific School of Religion, where he received his Master of Divinity degree in 1987. He served churches in Bethlehem, CT and Gilman, IA before going to Vermillion in 1995.

During his long tenure in Vermillion, Steve studied the Lakota spirit, language and music and invited the Lakota community to hold sacred ceremonies at the UCC church. He was also involved in community theater productions and the Vermillion Youth Baseball Association for players. The title of teacher also belongs in Steve’s repertoire, as demonstrated by his popular “World Religions” course at the University of SD

Starting Anew at First Church
Steve came to First Church during the pandemic and brought new energy and ideas to First Church as the congregation emerged from the isolation imposed by COVID. Working with the Minister of Music Gene Faxon and a growing list of volunteers, worship life not only fills the congregation with spirit but offers vision for the future. Late summer and fall showed a distinct increase in attendance, culminating with a full house on Christmas Eve 2023.

Steve has applied his teaching skills to an ongoing faith study series (usually 4-5 weeks) that has become a hub of learning and fellowship for members, neighbors and new friends. Topics explored in these sessions have included the character of faith, a mini course on world religions, a history of church music, and an examination of Christmas carols.

Steve offers pastoral care to members, neighbors, and friends in homes and care facilities. He’s committed to youth work for the New Hampshire Conference UCC - especially camping at the Horton Center in the White Mountains; serves on the board of Jaffrey’s Shelter from the Storm; and supports Jaffrey Adult Day Care by leading monthly singing events. Other community relationships include worship leadership at Cathedral of the Pines and serving as chaplain of the Scout Troup 33, who now call First Church home. Rev. Miller has also been involved with Shem Center for Interfaith Spirituality in Oak Park, IL for more 30 years through retreats, conferences, and classes.

Steve’s wife, Dr. Jill Tyler, joined him in Jaffrey the First Church after she retired in May 2022 as professor and chair of the University of South Dakota (USD) Communications Department. They have five children and three grandchildren.

Gene Faxon
Minster of Music

Gene brings his experience with teaching music and his expertise on the organ, piano, and harpsichord. He leads the choir as well as organizes special musical worship and other church events. Gene is also an accomplished recorder player.  During the pandemic Gene and three ladies have become a harmonious quartet.  We enjoy their offerings on multiple occasions during our services.  The congregation joins this group in singing Taize chants and hymns selected from the Pilgrim Hymnal and the New Century Hymnal.

Judy Lessard
Administrative Assistant

Judy brings her corporate experience. Working with our pastor and music minister, she creates the worship bulletins, sends out e-blasts, and monitors phone calls and church email. Working with our treasurer, she maintains the QuickBooks database and generates financial reports. Working with the communications team, she creates, prints, and distributes the church newsletter.


In late January 2022, First Church heartily welcomed (bottom row)  Roy Lake, Pam Hill,  David Bliss and Janet Grant as new Trustees.  Nancy Elder-Wilfrid is the new Clerk and in the top row is Ann St. Cyr Gordon (Treasurer) and Sam Greene Moderator.


Sam Greene, Moderator
Ann Gordon, Treasurer
Nancy Elder-Wilfrid, Clerk


David Bliss
Janet Grant
Pam Hill
Roy Lake
Tom Warren
Dan Wilfrid